Great News for the Green River!
Great news! The Colorado Water Conservation Board has decided to stop funding a study investigating a potential 500-mile pipeline from Wyoming’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the Colorado Front Range. This pipeline would have withdrawn massive amounts of water from the Green River- a beautiful western gem running through Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Last year, American Rivers listed the Green River as #2 on our annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, due to the potential impact of this pipeline on the river, the recreation economy, and the water supply for the lower Colorado River Basin.
Colorado must consider realistic conservation, efficiency, and reuse options in order to confront increasing water demands throughout the Basin. A report by Western Resource Advocates, Trout Unlimited, and the Colorado Environmental Coalition discusses common-sense ways to address water supply issues in Colorado.
Recently, a coalition of 700 business owners called Protect the Flows commissioned a poll that found 84% of West Slope residents and 52% of metro Denver-area residents oppose building additional water pipelines across the mountains. In fact, 76% of Colorado residents think that the solution lies in using water in smarter and more efficient ways, with less waste.
The Green River is a paddler’s paradise. In May 2012, Steve Markle with O.A.R.S. told us why paddlers love the Green River so much. Then in August, Matt Rice, our Director of Colorado Conservation, told us about his trip fishing the Green, and the big trout, beautiful scenery, and solitude he found there. Finally, Scott Willoughby with the Denver Post gives a description of the river that makes you jealous if you don’t have easy access to this trout oasis (even if you aren’t an avid fisherman!).
It is no wonder so many people care about preserving adequate water flows in the Green River. It not only provides essential water and cash flow for West Slope towns, but also a great adventure for the citizens of Colorado and beyond.
The Green River continues to face other threats and challenges, but today we celebrate this important decision of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.